Eventually we narrowed down many options to two, which were explained in a brochure to City residents in late March/early April. We held two more public hearings after the brochure was distributed so that we could gather additional feedback. We said to the community we would make a decision on May 22 or sometime thereafter.
The candidates for Mayor and Council also heard a variety of opinions about the water system while we were out in the community during the spring campaign. I think it is fair to say that, at least in my experience in talking with residents, there was an overwhelming desire for the City to retain ownership of the system and for us to make the necessary investments to upgrade and modernize our treatment plant and infrastructure. In fact, I would say 8 out of 10 residents - those who have lived here for many years and those who have just discovered the City - voiced the opinion that they wanted to retain the water system.
Last night, in accordance with our commitment to the community to provide direction by May 22, Mayor Lederer announced that there was consensus among the Council to retain ownership of the water system. Below is a press release, quoting the Mayor, about the decision.
There is still more work to be done on this, so you will still be hearing a lot about water. But this is a big step forward. I appreciate all of the input from City residents and businesses along with the work staff has done. It's a been a constructive process where we took the pulse of the community, examined all of the facts and are making a decision that I believe is in the best interest of the City for today and generations to come.
City of Fairfax to ‘Remain
in the Water Treatment Business’
FAIRFAX, Va. — Mayor Robert F. Lederer announced during the May 22 City Council meeting that the consensus of City Council is to retain the city’s water treatment facility located in Loudoun County and remain in the water treatment business.
The decision followed a year-long assessment of the financial and physical aspects associated with the decision whether to sell the facility and purchase water from Fairfax Water. The Mayor directed city staff to engage Fairfax Water and other stakeholders in discussions to move forward with the city’s reinvestment plan to enhance system efficiencies and reliability in the city’s water treatment facilities and distribution system.
“The city has a proud heritage of providing high quality drinking water to our city residents and many citizens of Fairfax County since 1961. This was a complicated and earnest effort and the decision was not an easy one. In the final analysis, maintaining an independent water source on the Goose Creek motivated the City Council to remain in the water treatment business,” Mayor Lederer said. “We have maintained positive relationships with both Fairfax Water and Fairfax County throughout the period of evaluation and we found Fairfax Water to be very helpful in our assessment of the two options. I look forward to a mutually cooperative effort to ensure success for our reinvestment project and for all of our customers.”
In 1961, the City of Fairfax took the progressive step to replace wells that were exhibiting water table depletion. In 1965 and 1985, the city, in full cooperation with the county, entered into agreements with Fairfax Water to serve portions of the county, to include the campus of George Mason University. Today, the city’s service area is the same as it was in 1965.